The Geelong Drive-In has plans on the drawing-board to create a complete recycling system using its own food scraps and garden clippings. Suitable scraps collected from the plates of diners and the kitchen will be fed into worm farms and lawn clippings and other garden waste will be deposited in compost bins. The resultant products will then be returned to the drive-in’s greenhouses as nutrient rich casting or humus to feed the vegetables destined to continue the cycle. This sustainable and self-fulfilling process will reduce running costs, provide enormous interest for employees and generate the yummiest and healthiest fruit and vegetables for diners to gorge themselves on.
It’s all part of the ‘what goes around comes around’ philosophy of the Geelong Drive-In. It is hoped that this effort will inspire others to attempt similar recycling projects at home or work so they may taste the difference it makes at meal times. Additionally, the food miles travelled by all produce of the drive-in will be zero thereby making a huge contribution to pollution reduction.
Worms are like the ‘intestines of the soil.’ They eat anything that once lived and cast off highly nutritious matter that plants thrive on. They require little maintenance, breed readily and are available in different varieties to suit varying climates. All this makes them wonderful assets for any home garden and a clever investment for businesses wanting to grow their own food.
Composting garden refuse tends to create heat which makes it unsuitable for worms. Nonetheless, it is an effective method to efficiently break down this waste and turn it into a useful resource for any productive vegetable garden. There are two common methods of composting – aerobic and anaerobic. Each has its own benefits and the most suitable for the drive-in’s purposes will be selected.
Another more hi-tech method of composting involves machinery. There are companies on the market producing amazing appliances which are capable of composting up to one ton of waste in 24-48 hours. Basically, they are a combination of a slow oven and a washing machine on its gentle cycle. They provide low heat to assist the naturally occurring microbes to multiply and feed then an agitator to gently stir the mix which assists the microbes to quickly spread throughout consuming as they go. Additionally, fresh air is continually ventilating the space to allow the microbes to remain healthy and hungry.
From the Geelong Drive-In’s perspective, a machine of this size will probably exceed its requirements. However, we are open to the idea of becoming a local depository for any suitable businesses wishing to become involved in a community effort to create more rich compost. All compost stock surplus to our own food production requirements can then be sold creating another income stream for our not-for-profit organisation.
If any readers are aware of other methods or innovations in food and garden waste recycling please let us know. The team at the Geelong Drive-In is dedicated to recycling its own waste where possible and to educating others of the advantages of this.
The Geelong Drive-In Team.